The Arbor Company Senior Living Blog

What is a Memory Care Facility?

Jul 24, 2018 6:30:00 AM / Rebecca Smith Rebecca Smith

What is a Memory Care Facility?

Thoughts of a memory care facility may immediately raise concerns that you’ll be leaving your loved one in a nursing home with a bunch of strangers. Yet, today’s memory care communities are loving, nurturing places that maximize independence, preserve your loved one’s memory as long as possible and alleviate the caregiver of the burden that prevents you from having a better relationship with your loved one.

 If your loved one struggles with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, don’t shy away from memory care facilities. These compassionate communities offer more enrichment than is possible at home, all in a safe, stress-free environment.

What Is Memory Care?

Memory care is a unique approach to senior living. Offering more support than traditional assisted living or nursing home communities, memory care is specifically designed with the needs of people with dementia in mind.

These communities emphasize safety above all else. A person with dementia will never be left alone in a situation that could harm or frighten them. Instead, they receive gentle support to live as independently as possible. As their needs change, so too does the level of support they can expect.

People with dementia often struggle with isolation. Dementia can erode social skills, change behavior and undermine mental health. Memory care communities prioritize socialization and engagement. They offer activities that people with dementia can enjoy free of stress and pressure. The staff gently encourages residents to become involved in the community, and may offer assistance with social skills, relationships and communication.

How a Memory Care Community Is Different From a Traditional Memory Care Facility

In traditional memory care facilities, the emphasis is on safety. Memory care communities build upon this framework to create a safe community that also emphasizes relationships, enrichment and growth.

Memory care communities know that dementia does not have to be the end of a meaningful, engaged, purposeful life. People with dementia can still do amazing things — whether it’s creating art or simply enjoying new music — with a little help. Memory care communities meet people with dementia where they are, then find ways to build upon their skills and minimize the effects of their challenges.

These communities know that every person deserves dignity and respect. Loved ones rest easy knowing that the seniors for whom they care are safe, happy and living their best possible life.

Are you caring for someone with dementia? The Caregiver’s Complete Guide to  Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care includes tips to help you accommodate your loved  one’s changing needs.

Benefits of Memory Care

An active, engaged lifestyle can delay the onset of dementia in healthy adults. In people already diagnosed with dementia, it can slow the progression of the disease. Other benefits of memory care include:

  • Better mental health. Memory care offers more chances to make friends and be among other people. Studies have also found that group activities can reduce depression related to dementia.
  • A chance to try new dementia management strategies. For example, some research suggests that music may bypass areas of the brain damaged by depression, potentially improving quality of life. Memory care communities are consistently committed to trying such strategies.
  • A longer life. By promoting mental and physical activity, memory care helps slow the progression of dementia. It also keeps people with dementia safe, reducing the impact of injuries and accidents.
  • Better family relationships. Caregivers may be overwhelmed by the demands of caring for someone with dementia. Memory care removes or reduces this burden, improving relationships and reducing the family impact of dementia.

Finding the Right Memory Care

The right memory care community is one that preserves the dignity of your loved one in a safe and supportive environment. Visit each community that you are considering and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are residents happy and well cared for?
  • Are there activities that all residents can participate in?
  • What does the staff do to encourage residents’ independence and happiness?
  • How does the community involve family?
  • Do residents seem clean?
  • Is the community clean, attractive and well maintained?
  • Is the location convenient? How often will I be able to visit?

Ultimately, trust your gut. You deserve to feel good about the decisions you make for the senior in your life. Need help deciding on the right memory care community for your loved one? Call us today. We can help you narrow down your options, discuss finances and find the right words to discuss memory care with your family.

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Topics: Memory care

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca is the Regional Vice President of Sales at The Arbor Company.

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